Blog – Declutter & Change

Why we need to be very careful about what we are thinking

The purpose of the ‘Powerful Questions Series’ is to help us open up our mind to new possibilities and development options.

CLICK HERE to get inspired by the questions we have discussed in this series so far.

If we aren’t getting the result we want it’s because of a thought.

Our thoughts create our feelings, our feelings drive our actions, our actions accumulate into results. – The trouble starts when we forget about this powerful cycle of results-creation.

If something is not as we want it to be, if we have a result in our life that we don’t like, we often believe that something is wrong with us. Or we blame certain ‘unfair’ circumstances in our life.

Feeling incapable, out of control and stuck is the consequence, and making any changes to the unsatisfying situation seems impossible.

However, we can do something about it.

We can change the results we currently have by changing the thoughts we currently think.

One of the many ways to test our thoughts – especially our limiting beliefs – is to ask ourselves powerful questions – AND answer them! For example:

    • ‘If I didn’t believe this, then what would I do?’
    • ‘What if I’m wrong about that?’
    • ‘What if this is just a story my mind made up?’

Click here to learn more about how we can declutter our limiting thoughts.

Take the first step of your mind- (and life-) decluttering journey today.

Schedule your free coaching session

Knowing and living our values gives life structure and stability

The purpose of the ‘Powerful Questions Series’ is to help us open up our mind to new possibilities and development options.

CLICK HERE to get inspired by the questions we have discussed in this series so far.

What can we do to fully live our life in the present, in the here and now?

When things are not easy or uncertain – like just now, in the middle of a worldwide pandemic – we get more concerned about life, health and even death than we normally are.

Often, deeper questions about our life and ourselves come up in our mind.

Instead of pushing away these potentially unsettling questions, we can deliberately decide to find our very personal answers to them.

Defining our values and our purpose in life can give our mind and our soul structure, stability and direction.

We can ask ourselves questions like these:

    • What is really important to me in the different areas of my life?
    • Am I currently neglecting important values and principles?
    • What do I want to achieve in my life, today and tomorrow?
    • Where do I want to focus my time and my energy?

And then we can use our answers to now truly ‘value our values’:

    • How can I pay more attention to what’s important to me in my daily life?
    • Could I start a new personal or professional project, here and now, that’s closely linked to my values and my goals?

Life is happening now and here. It’s not on the other side of self isolation and other Covid-related restrictions. We can’t put it on hold for a couple of months.

Knowing what’s important to us can help us value and fully live our life – no matter what the current circumstances are.

How a conversation with your future self can help you to achieve your goals

The purpose of the ‘Powerful Questions Series’ is to help us open up our mind to new possibilities and development options.

CLICK HERE to get inspired by the questions we have discussed in this series so far.

The secret to creating the life you want: Talk to your Future Self

The ‘Free Guide to Your Future Self’ is all about how we can use the help of a future version of ourselves to achieve our goals.

The following is an extract from the freebie:

EXERCISE – Talk to your much older future self

Imagine your future self being much older than you are now, maybe 85 or 90 years old. You can expect her being much wiser and more mindful and knowledgeable at this stage of life. 

Picture yourself sitting together with your future self, having a relaxed conversation with her. Don’t forget to take notes while you are taking to her.

STEP 1 – Choose a topic

Choose the area of your life you want to discuss with your future self. Tell her what you wish to change, improve, achieve.

STEP 2 – Ask powerful questions

Now ask her these 3 questions:

    • What does she recommend you should stop doing?
    • What does she want you to start doing?
    • What does she think you should continue doing?

Don’t judge or evaluate, just write down whatever comes up in her(your) mind.

Don’t push away what you don’t like to hear. Take your time to think it through.

STEP 3 – Create an action plan

Choose one or two of her recommendations about what you should stop, start, or continue doing.

Compile an action plan: List all the things you want to think, feel and do differently.

Then start realising your goals. Don’t postpone, take the first step – now.


The free guide offers additional information about useful conversations we can have with our future self. It also includes an example for the exercise above.

How to talk to your future self

A set of 3 little questions – to make our actions and activities more valuable

The purpose of the ‘Powerful Questions Series’ is to help us open up our mind to new possibilities and development options.

CLICK HERE to get inspired by the questions we have discussed in this series so far.

Each day in our life offers numerous opportunities to learn something new, to gain helpful insights, to think in a different way, to benefit from an experience.

Unfortunately, we often miss these opportunities because we rush through our day. We are in a hurry to start, manage, and complete tasks, projects, processes, activities. We want to get it done so that we can move on to the next thing.

We don’t take the time to look back at what we have been doing, we don’t pay attention to the results we have created, we don’t stop to evaluate, review and adjust – we just move on, and on, and on.

How can we become more aware of learning opportunities and use them deliberately for our personal development?

A set of 3 little questions can help.

As soon as a job, task or project has been completed, at the end of an event, after any success or failure experience, at the end of the day/week/month/year month, we can ask ourselves:

    • What worked?
    • What didn’t work?
    • What am I going to do differently?

GIVE IT A TRY

At the end of today, pause for a moment, and see what you can learn from your answers to the questions

    • What worked out today? What did I do successfully? What positive results have I created today?
    • What didn’t work? What feels like a failure? Why? What went wrong, or not as expected/wanted?
    • What can I learn from this? What can I do differently tomorrow?

How a new evening routine can bring some light at the end of the day

The purpose of the ‘Powerful Questions Series’ is to help us open up our mind to new possibilities and development options.

CLICK HERE to get inspired by the questions we have discussed in this series so far.

What could you ask instead of ‘How was your day?’

Asking another person positive questions not only helps that person lighten up their mood, it also helps us: Making the effort to think about a good question and hearing ourselves asking it opens up our own mind to the good experiences in our life.

Give it a try, play around and experiment with asking other questions in the evening than just ‘How was your day?’

These are some suggestions:

    • Tell me three good things that happened to you today.
    • What was the best conversation you had today?
    • What are you most grateful for about your day?
    • What made you laugh today?
    • What did you do that was just for you today?
    • What was the best part of your day? Why?
    • Etc.

‘Inventing’ new powerful questions can become a great shared activity at the end of the day, a fun game that you can play with your partner/family at the dinner table every evening.

The good thing about this evening routine, however, is that we don’t need to have other people around us to do it.  We can create the habit to ask ourselves at least one powerful question before or while we are going to bed.

Make sure that you have a positive mind at the end of the day!

Take the first step of your mind- (and life-) decluttering journey today.

Schedule your free coaching session

How appreciation and gratitude help us fill up our personal treasure chest

The purpose of the ‘Powerful Questions Series’ is to help us open up our mind to new possibilities and development options.

CLICK HERE to get inspired by the questions we have discussed in this series so far.

Do you truly appreciate what you have in your life?

Daily practicing our appreciation of the good things in our life helps us strengthen our positive-feeling ‘muscle’. It makes us feel better. And stronger.

The purpose of the ‘Treasure Chest’ exercise is to come up with positive thoughts about the things we value and appreciate in our life, all the stuff we are grateful for and happy about.

These thoughts in turn will help us fill up our personal ‘treasure chest’ of positive and powerful feelings.

All the appreciation, gratefulness, happiness and contentedness that we add to our ‘treasure chest’ does not only make us feel good in that moment, it will also keep our heart warm during cloudy or stormy periods that might come up in the future.

How do you fill up your personal treasure chest?

Invest 10 minutes each day and write down what comes up to your mind when you ask yourself questions like these:

    • What am I grateful for today?
    • What am I happy about just now?
    • What are the people in my life that are particularly valuable to me?
    • What are the things in my life (personal belongings, money, space, time, etc) that I really appreciate?
    • What have I done/am I doing that I am really proud of?
    • Etc.

The nice thing about this treasure chest is that it’s not heavy and it can’t be stolen. We can carry it around with us all day, we can open it any time, and we can share it with others if we want to.

Enjoy what’s in your personal treasure chest!

Take the first step of your mind- (and life-) decluttering journey today.

Schedule your free coaching session

Getting unstuck – Let go of the past and focus on the future

Our thoughts determine how our life looks like.

We are all confronted with circumstances outside of ourselves that we can’t control: The weather, our past, others and their behaviour, tax regulations, a pandemic, the price of a litre of milk, the time it gets dark in the evening, losing our job, the size of our feet, etc.

It’s easy to think that we don’t have power about how our life looks like because of all those circumstances that we can’t influence.

We tend to forget, again and again, that we own the most powerful tool in the world – our mind.

What we think about the circumstances in our life and about ourselves is totally within our control, we are free to choose how we want to think about us and our life.

This is so important because what we are thinking determines how we are feeling, our feelings then fuel our actions which finally create the results in our life.

Our thoughts determine how we experience our life!

But how do we choose our thoughts? And where do they come from?

We have about 60,000 thoughts each day, most of them we are not aware of, they run in the back of our mind, unconsciously and automatically.

The vast majority of our thoughts are past-focused.

Many of our thoughts are ‘recycled’ thoughts from the past – they entered our mind a long time ago and we are re-using them again and again, on default, unintentionally.

This is especially true for the thoughts we have about ourselves.

“Who are you? What are you capable of?”

To answer these questions, most of us turn backwards, we go to our past. We define ourselves and our capabilities by looking at who we have been, what we have done and what we have accomplished (or not) in the past.

We define and build our self-identity based on the past.

Many of the past-based definitions of ourselves are serving us.

    • I always was an A+ student, I am really good at learning new stuff.
    • I always find the right time to change my job to make the next step forward in my career.
    • I am great at ocean swimming. Always have been.
    • I never give up and that’s why I overcome any challenge.
    • I had a tough childhood, yes, and that made me a strong person.

But most of us also have lots of past-focused thoughts that limit our potential and keep us stuck.

    • I’ve always been overweight, it’s just who I am.
    • I’ve never been very fit and active.
    • I was shy as a child already, that’s why I don’t like social events.
    • My father forced me to play the piano, that’s why I hate it now.
    • I tried this three times without any success, it’s just not the right thing for me.
    • I’ve always been a messy person.

Why and how to switch our focus from the past to the future

The past is outside of our control. And it’s over.

Past failures, missed opportunities, challenging or hurtful experiences, negative circumstances – all gone.

So as the past is gone anyway, it doesn’t seem to make sense if we continue to give it the power to influence our present and future in a negative way. 

It’s our choice, we can decide to no longer let the past determine our thoughts, feelings and actions today. And in the future.

As soon as we have made this decision, we can start to take action:

    1. Becoming aware of our past-focused thoughts is the first step. We do thought downloads to get the stuff that we carried along from the past out of our mind by putting it on paper
    2. The next step is to do some mind-decluttering work. We separate the positive supportive thoughts from the self-limiting thinking and decide to let go of the latter.
    3. The final step is to reorganise our mind with intention. We search for powerful future-focused thoughts and practice thinking them so that they can help us move on with our life.

Why we need determination and commitment to focus on the future

Focusing our thoughts, feelings and actions on the future is what allows us to evolve.

As soon as we switch our attention from who we have been in the past to who we want to become in the future, we automatically start to do the things that help us create the life we want to live on purpose.

However, our mind doesn’t like to focus on the future.

Our mind doesn’t want us to evolve. It’s main goal is to make sure that we are safe. It doesn’t want us to change and move into unknown – and potentially ‘dangerous’ – territory. Thus, it is very attached to the well-known past and it wants us to stay where we are, in safe territory.

It’s good to know that our mind will always resist if we decide to focus on the future.

Knowing this helps us to understand why it requires more energy and effort – and therefore more determination and commitment – to think about and plan for the future than to remember and rely on the past.

EXERCISE

This little exercise helps us uncover some of our past-focused thoughts. And then exchange them with new future-focused thinking.

Step 1 – Become aware of the ‘always’ and ‘never’ in your life

Words like ‘never’ and ‘always’ are good indicators of past-related thinking, feeling, and behaviour.

Give yourself 5 or 10 minutes to write down a few sentences about yourself that include the words ‘never’ or ‘always’.

Then pick two or three of those that don’t serve you.

Examples:

    • ‘I always feel responsible for other people’s feelings.’
    • ‘I never manage to finish a task on time.’
    • ‘I’ve always been a messy person.’

Step 2 – Rephrase your sentences using the past tense.

Examples:

    • ‘In the past, I used to feel responsible for other people’s feelings.’
    • ‘I usually didn’t finish my tasks on time in the past.’
    • ‘In the past, I had a tendency to mess up my place.’

Step 3 – Rephrase again, now taking a future-focused approach.

Examples:

    • ‘Nowadays, I know that everyone is responsible for their own feelings. That’s why I can now focus on myself and my feelings.’
    • ‘I’ve decided just now that I am getting better and better at finishing tasks on time.’
    • ‘I am going to become really good at decluttering and keeping my place clean in the future.’

Play around and rephrase as often as necessary, until you find a sentence/thought that expresses your future-focus and makes you feel good.

You can use it to redirect your focus whenever your mind comes up with its stories of the past. And it will, because that’s its job.

Remind yourself, again and again, that it doesn’t matter what you thought, felt, did in the past – that’s out of your control like all the other circumstances in your life.

It only matters what you decide to think, feel, and do now – and in the future.

Take the first step of your mind- (and life-) decluttering journey today.

Schedule your free coaching session

How to replace a limiting thought that keeps us stuck

Why we have to find the limiting thought that keeps us stuck before we can get rid of it

If we use mind-decluttering as the process to realise changes in our life – changes in the way we show up and behave so that we can achieve the results we actually want to have – we always start our work by searching for the current thought.

We need to know what we are currently thinking because our current thought causes what we are currently feeling. And, as we know from the Mind-Decluttering Model, our feelings create our our actions (what we do or not do) which finally create the results in our life.

However, we are thinking around 60,000 thoughts each day and most of them run around in our unconscious mind and come up on default – we don’t choose them deliberately, we are not even aware of them.

How can we uncover unconscious self-limiting thoughts?

In the Mind-Decluttering Model the result at the bottom of the model always refers back to the thought line in the model.

Mind-Decluttering Model

So if we struggle to discover our current thought, we can work our way back from the bottom to the top of the model.

EXAMPLE:

Let’s say I want to intensify my exercise-program and have decided to get up at 5 am twice a week so that I can go for a longer run bevor I have to leave the house.

But two weeks have gone by already and I didn’t get up earlier twice a week, I didn’t go for an early run.

I now fill in the Mind-Decluttering Model.

The circumstance line: Part of the new exercise plan is that I get up for an early run two times each week.

The thought line: ?

The feeling line: ?

The action line: I didn’t get up earlier twice a week during the past two weeks.

The result line: I don’t realise my exercise-plan.

So what’s the thought in this scenario?

Looking at the result line, I know that the thought is probably something like ‘it’s impossible to realise the exercise plan’.

And yes, that’s what it is, that’s what I am currently thinking: This is too hard. Getting up so early is too hard. I’ve never managed to get up so early. It’s impossible.

How do I feel when I am thinking these thoughts? I feel exhausted and incapable.

The on-default version of my Mind-Decluttering Model is complete:

The ON-DEFAULT mind-decluttering model

Now it’s clear why I am currently not able to realise my exercise-plan:

I’ve found the cause of the problem, my thoughtwhich means that I am now in the position to find the solution:

I have to find a better thought.

A thought that creates feelings and actions that serve me better in this situation.

What do I need to think about getting up early twice a week so that I feel capable and strong instead of exhausted and incapable?

I experiment with a few ideas of useful thoughts and finally come up with this: Of course getting up early is hard and feels uncomfortable at first. But that’s not a problem. I can do uncomfortable things if I want to. I’ll do this!

Thinking this makes me feel strong and capable. And feeling strong and capable helps me do what I wanted to do: get up early – although it feels uncomfortable – and go running twice a week before I leave to go to work. 

The result? I prove to myself that I can do hard things and realise my exercise-plan!

This is an overview of the final on-purpose model:

The ON-PURPOSE mind-decluttering model

This example demonstrates one of the many ways we can try to find our current thoughts and then a better – more useful and effective – thought.

Yes, applying the Mind-Decluttering Model as a tool to realise desired changes in our life takes effort and time.

But it’s worth it – If we do it properly, the process of letting go of limiting thoughts and moving on with new powerful thoughts always delivers the results we want to achieve.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

What are the changes your want to make in your life? Which thoughts might have kept you from realising the desired changes? Which thoughts could you practice thinking instead?

LET’S TALK:

Take the first step of your mind- (and life-) decluttering journey today.

Schedule your free coaching session

How to declutter feelings of worry

The purpose of the ‘Powerful Questions Series’ is to help us open up our mind to new possibilities and development options.

CLICK HERE to get inspired by the questions we have discussed in this series so far.

The main problem with worry is that it’s not a very useful feeling.

Worrying – usually about things that might happen in the future and are outside of our control – is not helpful and often makes us feel helpless. And it doesn’t help us change what we worry about.

Thus, it might be a good idea to decide to stop worrying, or at least to reduce the amount of worry we are willing to feel.

If we want to ‘delete’ feelings of worry, we first have to uncover worry-producing thoughts in our mind.

We can ask ourselves:

    • What am I thinking right now that makes me feel worried?

Then, we can start to search for new thoughts – different ways to think about the current or potential future circumstances and developments.

We ask ourselves:

    • What would I be thinking if I didn’t worry about this?

EXAMPLE:

This is the future event I am currently feeling worried about:

We have invited some friends for dinner on Saturday. We will be sitting outside in the backyard. It’s getting colder in the evenings.

What am I thinking right now that makes me feel worried?

I am worried because I am thinking: Our friends might get cold and feel uncomfortable the whole time. This would spoil the evening.

What would I be thinking if I didn’t worry about this?

I wouldn’t worry if I was thinking: Our friends know the weather condition and will bring a warm sweater along. And we have lots of blankets to keep them warm. We’ll have a nice evening.


CLICK HERE to read more about the background of our worries and to find some inspiration for worry-dissolving thoughts.

Thinking better makes life better

The purpose of the ‘Powerful Questions Series’ is to help us open up our mind to new possibilities and development options.

CLICK HERE to get inspired by the questions we have discussed in this series so far.

If we want to make changes in our life, we have to make changes in our thinking – because our thinking determines our life experience:

Our thoughts create our feelings, which fuel our actions, which create the results in our life.

Before we can think about changing our thoughts, we need to become aware of what we are actually thinking.

The mind-decluttering model (based on ‘The Model’, The Life Coach School) is a great took that we use in coaching and self-coaching to gain greater awareness of what’s going on in our mind. (CLICK HERE to learn more about the mind-decluttering process, OR HERE to read about the similarities of mental and physical clutter.)

Whenever a result in our life is not what we want it to be, whenever we don’t feel or act as we want to, we can ask ourselves powerful awareness-creating questions like these:

    • What’s going on in my mind right now?
    • What am I thinking?
    • Does it serve me?
    • How does it make me feeling?
    • And acting?
    • Do I like the results created by my thoughts, feelings, and actions?

TIP 

It’s always good to write down the questions and our answers.

We get a clearer view into our mind and a better understanding of our thinking if we ‘take everything out’ and put it on paper.  

If you wish to work with an experienced ‘awareness-creation’ partner, you could consider to try out some coaching:

Take the first step of your mind- (and life-) decluttering journey today.

Schedule your free coaching session

Living WITH purpose or living ON purpose?

“Those with meaning in life are happier and healthier than those without it.”

(Dr Dilip Jeste, University of California, San Diego)


An increasing number of studies in various scientific fields point out that there is a close relationship between the presence of meaning in life and a higher level of physical and mental wellbeing

That’s nothing new, of course. Most of us probably share the view that searching for and finding a purpose in life can have significant positive effects on our health and wellbeing.

Living with purpose – What does this actually mean?

Do you know your purpose? Do you have a vision for your life?

If these questions feel a bit overwhelming, or confusing, or uncomfortable – relax!

Our thoughts about life’s purpose don’t have to be complicated.

We can decide that it’s not necessary to dive deep into philosophical or spiritual or scientific discussions.

The definition of ‘purpose’ could be as clear, simple, and practical as this one:

The purpose of life is living on purpose.

In this understanding, living our purpose means deliberately assigning a meaning to our life and to who we are and what we (want to) do while we are here on this planet.

Living on purpose means living intentionally.

It’s deliberately thinking, feeling, and doing what we want to think, feel, and do – so it’s the opposite of living on default or autopilot.

It requires us to know and honour what matters to us – what we most value in our life, what we feel passionate about, and what we think and appreciate about ourselves.

Living on purpose provides us with clarity, guidance and direction. It takes away confusion or frustration, instead it gives us something to work towards.

Living on purpose also creates inspiration and motivation – so we get the energy and passion we need to move forward.

How can you find out how living with/on purpose could look like for you?

The following exercises intend to help you develop your very personal and individual idea of purpose, so that you can apply in your life to give it direction and meaning.

You can go through all the excises or just choose one or two.

EXERCISE 1 – Ask your future self

Most of us have an idea of our life’s purpose inside of us – whether we’re consciously aware of it or not.

Getting some input from our future self can help us become more aware of what purpose means to us.

Lean back and imagine your future self celebrating her 90th birthdaycompletely happy and proudly looking back over her life.

Take a piece of paper and a pen, and allow yourself some quiet time to think about the story of your life from her – your future self’s – point of view.

You can start by letting your future self answer questions like these:

  1. How do you describe yourself? What story do you tell about yourself?
  2. What do you think and feel about yourself?
  3. What do you especially like about your life? About yourself?
  4. What is it about you that the people at your birthday party truly value?
  5. What have you achieved in your life? Which challenges have you overcome? What are you particularly proud of?
  6. What added meaning to your life and gives you a sense of fulfillment?
  7. What did you enjoy most in your life?
  8. If you consider the most important areas in your life – how do you think and feel about them, now looking back at them at this point in life? Have a closer look at:
  • your relationships (partner, family members, friends, colleagues, …),
  • your work/career,
  • your health and fitness,
  • your home,
  • your finances,
  • your leisure and community activities,
  • your …

EXERCISE 2 – Create a vision for your future

It is very important to ensure that our short term and long term goals fit into the bigger perspective of our life.

This exercise helps you understand the bigger picture of your life. As soon as you have a clearer idea – a vision – of your life, you’ll find it much easier to articulate and prioritise your short and long term goals and to develop action plans.  

Where do you ultimately want to get to in your life?

Imagine there were no obstacles and you had a magic wand and could create whatever you wanted.

What do you want to be doing / how do you want to be living / who do you want to be

  • at the end of your life
  • 20 years from now
  • 10 years from now
  • 5 years from now
  • 1 year from now

EXERCISE 3 – Create a 3-month vision board

This simple exercise helps you identify what meaningful short-term changes your want to make in your life across different life-areas.

Allow yourself 30 to 60 minutes to consider the following questions to help you create your personal vision for the next 3 months.

Write your answers in the present tense, and be as specific as you can.

A) How do you want your life to be different in 3 months time?

Write below which changes (if any) you wish to make in the important areas of your life within the next 3 months:

  • your relationships (partner, family members, friends, colleagues, …),
  • your work/career,
  • your health and fitness,
  • your home,
  • your finances,
  • your leisure and community activities,
  • your …

B) What is the most important change/goal your want to realise over the next 3 months?

C) If you have achieved this important change – how will your ‘ideal day’ look like in 3 months from now? What will be different compared to today? What are you thinking and feeling, what are you doing (or not doing), etc.

EXERCISE 4 – 3 little powerful questions

If you prefer to focus on just a few questions that can help you get a clearer idea of the priorities in your life you could consider these:

  • What are you currently excited about in your life?
  • What does it mean to you to have a full and rich life?
  • How could you have more fun and joy in your life?

You will probably not arrive at a final definition of your personal idea of living on purpose just by doing some little exercises.

But anything that’s helping us finding our priorities in life will make it easier to move forward in a meaningful and intentional way.

In one of the next articles we will discuss why we need to understand and honour our personal values if we want to live on purpose. 


Exercise 1 (see above) suggests to imagine your future self and what she would be answering if you asked her about the purpose of/in your life. 

The free guide (pdf-file) ‘Talk to your future self’ explains the idea of our future self and how she can help us living our life successfully in more detail. 

Click on the image to download the free guide to your future self.

How to talk to your future self

Our obstacle-thoughts are the signposts that guide us to our goals

If we set ourselves a goal – a certain outcome we want to achieve, a change we want to make, a habit we want to create – we need an action plan.

We need to know the steps it takes to get us from here to where we want to be.

Very often our mind tries to make action planning difficult.

We come up with the idea for a goal and we are all in, and then our mind gets nervous and says, ‘Wait a sec. You think you can do this? Are you kidding? There is no way you can achieve this. Just drop the idea and save yourself the disappointment.’

This is a normal and natural reaction of our mind. It’s its job to keep us safe and out of danger. Our mind wants to avoid any risks, that’s why it doesn’t like change and wants to keep things as they are.

It is important to listen to our mind.

We need to become aware of the thoughts that come up with regard to our goal: All thoughts – the supportive ones and also the ones that try to talk us out of pursuing our desired goals.

So, yes, we need to listen to our mind but we always should remind ourselves that we don’t need to follow its recommendations.

We don’t have to do what our mind wants us to do (or not to do).

Our thoughts are just sentences in our mind and they are optional. We can always decide what we want to think.

We don’t have to believe our mind’s objections, instead we can use them to help us define the steps we need to take to achieve our goal.

As soon as we notice all the fearful, pessimistic, critical, judgemental, and other negative thoughts, we can decide to see them not as obstacles on the way to our goal but as helpful signposts that can guide us.

We take a closer look at all the objections our mind offers, and we develop a strategy how to overcome each of them. These strategies then become the main elements of our goal-achievement action plan.

EXAMPLE:

Goal: I want to lose 4 pounds during this month.

Obstacle-Thought Number 1 – Losing weight is hard and frustrating and I tend to quit when things become frustrating.

  • Obstacle-overcoming Thought Number 1 – I expect and accept feelings of frustration to come up. They are part of the process and not a big issue. I am going to be frustrated, yes, and that’s o.k. (It’s better than being frustrated because I weigh too much!)

Obstacle-Thought Number 2 – I tried to lose weight in the past and it never worked out.

  • Obstacle-overcoming Thought Number 2 – The past is irrelevant, it has nothing to do with what I am capable of achieving in the future. I plan to focus on the visualisation of my future self, the person who knows how to lose weight and always sticks to her plans.

Obstacle-Thought Number 3 – I am afraid that I will not stick to the eating plan and that I will feel like a hopeless looser if I fail.

  • Obstacle-overcoming Thought Number 3 – Of course I will fail, failure is part of the path to success. That’s no problem. I’ll learn from each failure and move on with new energy.

Etc.

As we can see in this example, the action plan consists of a list of supportive and powerful thoughts that help us take action whenever our mind comes up with obstacle-thoughts.

The toolbox of helpful thoughts will look different for each of us, even if we pursue the same goal.

We are all unique personalities and our minds are very unique as well. And so are our obstacle thoughts and our strategies to overcome them.

We have to invest some time to listen carefully to our mind, so that we can see our very own obstacle-thoughts.

Then we get well prepared with the help of a well-designed obstacle-overcoming action plan:

We assign at least one strong supportive thought to each obstacle-thought, so that we are well equipped when our mind comes up with objections (and it will!) while we are moving towards our goal.

Now it’s your turn!

  • Choose a goal you want to achieve.
  • Then list all the obstacle-thoughts that your mind will probably immediately offer to you. Don’t push them away, don’t judge them, just take a closer look.
  • Now get creative and start to compile your toolbox of obstacle-overcoming thoughts.
  • And then make sure that you have these supportive thoughts always close by, that you study and remember them every day – so that your mind can get used to them and begins to accept them as your new truth.

You will soon notice that the old obstacle-thoughts lose their power and how your new thoughts help you move forward towards your goal.  


Your future self knows exactly what steps you need to take to reach your goals.

You can rely on her in so many ways, and she’ll also help you uncover and overcome your obstacle thoughts.

Just talk to her. 🙂

How to talk to your future self